Danny Akin: The Future of the Southern Baptist Convention

Southern Baptists are clearly at a crossroads.

These are unprecedented times.

  • At our most recent Convention, by a 95%+ vote, a Great Commission Resurgence Task Force was appointed by President Johnny Hunt.
  • A few months later, Geoff Hammond was forced to resign from the NAMB.
  • Then, Jerry Rankin announced his retirement from the IMB.
  • Morris Chapman announced his retirement from the Executive Committee.

Add to this the decline in baptism and we could become very pessimistic.

I’m not optimistic, but I’m hopeful.  Not because of my confidence in Southern Baptists, but because of my confidence in our God and his purposes.

God has a global purpose to have people from every nation around his throne.  The question is will Southern Baptists be involved in his purpose.

Akin is speaking for the fourth time in five years on the future of the SBC.  He will draw on these previous addresses (especially the Axioms for a Great Commission Resurgence speech), since little has changed.  He will be adding

Eight Observations:

  1. Southern Baptists have an optimistic future, if we return to Jesus as our first love.
  2. Southern Baptists have an optimistic future, if we remain committed to the inspiration and inerrancy of the Word of God.
  3. Southern Baptists have an optimistic future, if we pursue a genuinely Word-based ministry that is biblical in content and has a fire in its delivery.
  4. Southern Baptists have an optimistic future, if we can affirm the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 as a healthy and sufficient guide for building a theological consensus for partnership in the gospel, refusing to be sidetracked by theological agendas that distract us from our Lord’s Commission.
  5. Southern Baptists have an optimistic future, if our congregations begin to look as diverse as our communities and of the nations.
  6. Southern Baptists have an optimistic future, if we have the courage to rethink our structure, clarify our mission, and provide a compelling vision for the future.
  7. Southern Baptists have an optimistic future, if we raise up a generation of pastors who seem themselves as leading people to be missionaries regardless of vocation or location.
  8. Southern Baptists have an optimistic future, if we pledge ourselves to a renewed cooperation that is gospel centered and built around a biblical and theological core and not methodological consensus or agreement.

If we unite around the Great Commission our future is bright, but if we do not then we don’t deserve a future.

Article by Jim Smith of the Florida Baptist Witness on Danny Akin’s address.

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